Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Heart protein could be used to repair damage caused by heart attack

25.11.2004


A protein that the heart produces during its development could be redeployed after a heart attack to help the organ repair itself, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have found.



The mouse-study findings could eventually lead to new treatments for heart disease in humans and could even change the way healthcare providers respond to people suffering from heart attacks. The research appears today’s edition of Nature and is available online. "If the protein has a similar effect in humans as it does in mice, the impact by sheer volume is great – nearly 1 million people have heart attacks every year just in the United States," said Dr. Deepak Srivastava, professor of molecular biology and pediatrics and the study’s senior author. "The delivery is very simple and avoids many of the problems of using stem cells."

While more common in adults, heart disease is the leading noninfectious cause of death in children younger than one year. Heart disease in children is usually caused by developmental abnormalities. The protein, Thymosin beta-4, is expressed by embryos during the heart’s development. It encourages the migration of heart cells and affects those cells’ survivability. The new findings show that the protein prevents cell death after an experimentally-induced heart attack and limits the degree of scar tissue formation. Thymosin beta-4 is already used in clinical trials to promote wound healing on the skin. As a result, the protein could enter clinical trials for treating the heart in the very near future, said Dr. Srivastava, co-director of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Center at UT Southwestern.


During their study, UT Southwestern researchers discovered that Thymosin beta-4 works in conjunction with two other proteins to promote survival and migration of heart muscle cells by activating the protein Akt/Protein Kinase B. Akt/PKB, when active, promotes cell survival.

After studying the activity of cells in culture, researchers created a mouse model by tying off the coronary artery of 58 adult mice, simulating a heart attack. Half of the mice were given Thymosin beta-4 systemically, directly into the heart, or through both routes immediately after the ligation. The other half were given control injections of saline immediately after the artery was tied off. Researchers found that Thymosin beta-4 caused fewer cells in the affected part of the heart to die, resulting in improved function even several weeks after the heart attack. Researchers now believe that Thymosin beta-4 changes cell metabolism to create stronger heart muscle cells that can resist the low oxygen conditions after a heart attack.

The next step, Dr. Srivastava said, is to determine the most effective dose, the optimal time to administer Thymosin beta-4 and how long after an attack the protein can be given to be effective.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved were Dr. Ildiko Bock-Marquette, a postdoctoral researcher in pediatrics and co-lead author; Ankur Saxena, graduate student research assistant in the genetics and development program and co-lead author; Dr. J. Michael DiMaio, assistant professor of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery; Michael White, a research assistant in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery; and Glenn Adams IV, a research technician in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the American Heart Association and the Donald W. Reynolds Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center funded the study.

Staishy Bostick Siem | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Show me your leaves - Health check for urban trees
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
12.12.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>